Phase2Phase: Respiratory Motion-Resolved Reconstruction of Free-Breathing Magnetic Resonance Imaging Using Deep Learning Without a Ground Truth for Improved Liver Imaging

Cihat Eldeniz, Weijie Gan, Sihao Chen, Tyler J. Fraum, Daniel Ludwig, Yan Yan, Jiaming Liu, Thomas Vahle, Uday Krishnamurthy, Ulugbek S. Kamilov, Hongyu An

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: Respiratory binning of free-breathing magnetic resonance imaging data reduces motion blurring; however, it exacerbates noise and introduces severe artifacts due to undersampling. Deep neural networks can remove artifacts and noise but usually require high-quality ground truth images for training. This study aimed to develop a network that can be trained without this requirement. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This retrospective study was conducted on 33 participants enrolled between November 2016 and June 2019. Free-breathing magnetic resonance imaging was performed using a radial acquisition. Self-navigation was used to bin the k-space data into 10 respiratory phases. To simulate short acquisitions, subsets of radial spokes were used in reconstructing images with multicoil nonuniform fast Fourier transform (MCNUFFT), compressed sensing (CS), and 2 deep learning methods: UNet3DPhase and Phase2Phase (P2P). UNet3DPhase was trained using a high-quality ground truth, whereas P2P was trained using noisy images with streaking artifacts. Two radiologists blinded to the reconstruction methods independently reviewed the sharpness, contrast, and artifact-freeness of the end-expiration images reconstructed from data collected at 16% of the Nyquist sampling rate. The generalized estimating equation method was used for statistical comparison. Motion vector fields were derived to examine the respiratory motion range of 4-dimensional images reconstructed using different methods. RESULTS: A total of 15 healthy participants and 18 patients with hepatic malignancy (50 ± 15 years, 6 women) were enrolled. Both reviewers found that the UNet3DPhase and P2P images had higher contrast (P < 0.01) and fewer artifacts (P < 0.01) than the CS images. The UNet3DPhase and P2P images were reported to be sharper than the CS images by 1 reviewer (P < 0.01) but not by the other reviewer (P = 0.22, P = 0.18). UNet3DPhase and P2P were similar in sharpness and contrast, whereas UNet3DPhase had fewer artifacts (P < 0.01). The motion vector lengths for the MCNUFFT800 and P2P800 images were comparable (10.5 ± 4.2 mm and 9.9 ± 4.0 mm, respectively), whereas both were significantly larger than CS2000 (7.0 ± 3.9 mm; P < 0.0001) and UNnet3DPhase800 (6.9 ± 3.2; P < 0.0001) images. CONCLUSIONS: Without a ground truth, P2P can reconstruct sharp, artifact-free, and high-contrast respiratory motion-resolved images from highly undersampled data. Unlike the CS and UNet3DPhase methods, P2P did not artificially reduce the respiratory motion range.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)809-819
Number of pages11
JournalInvestigative Radiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021


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